After Extractions


A gauze pack has been placed over the area where the tooth was removed to limit bleeding and to protect the area while a clot forms. Bite down with gentle but firm pressure for 30 – 45 minutes after surgery. Do not chew on the gauze. Expect a red tinge in your saliva for at least a day from slight oozing of blood. You should not experience any heavy bleeding. If you do, follow these steps:

  1. Dampen the gauze, roll it and fold it in half so that it is thick enough to bite on. Place directly over the area of bleeding.
  2. Bite down gently but firmly on the pad for 30 minutes. If bleeding persists, repeat
  3. Do not suck on the extraction site.
  4. If heavy bleeding continues for 4-5 hours, call the office or the doctors at home (978) 664-3141

Remember, gauze acts like a sponge and will always have some blood on it when removed. This does not mean there is active bleeding.

Blood Clot, Rinsing and Oral Hygiene:

After removal of a tooth, a blood clot forms in the socket. This is part of normal healing. It is important to avoid anything that might disturb the clot. The following steps should be taken to protect it:

  1. Do not smoke, rinse your mouth vigorously, spit, or drink through a straw for 24 hours. This creates suction in your mouth that could dislodge the clot and delay healing.
  2. You may rinse your mouth the day following extraction. Place some salt water in your mouth (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a class of warm water) swish from side to side and repeat 2-3 times per day as necessary..
  3. Do not brush vigorously next to the healing tooth socket for the rest of the day. Brush your other teeth as usual. Normal brushing can resume the day after the extraction.
  4. Limit strenuous activity for the remainder of the day. This reduces bleeding and helps the clot to form.

Swelling and Discomfort:

After the extraction, you will have some swelling and certainly some discomfort. Swelling can be reduced by applying ice to your face in an ice bag or by crushing ice and placing it in a towel. Do not place ice directly onto exposed skin. You should leave the ice on your face for 20 minutes and then remove for 20 minutes. This can be repeated for 4-5 hours. Ice can be applied up to 48 hours after the extraction. Ice will decrease the swelling and thus will decrease the level of pain to some degree as well. Swelling usually peaks approximately 48 hours after extraction then should decrease. If swelling does not decrease after 72 hours, call the office or the doctors at home, (978) 664-3141.


You may be given medication to prevent or control infection. Use this as directed and continue until the prescription is finished. Caution: Women, if you are taking birth control medication and have been prescribed an antibiotic, it is highly likely that the effectiveness of the birth control medication will be decreased for your entire monthly cycle.

Pain medication will be either narcotic or non-narcotic or both. Narcotic medication can alter your alertness and make you sleepy. You should not drive a car, operate machinery, make personal decisions, drink alcohol or take sedative medications while on these narcotic pain medications. Do not take different medications at the same time. These medications should be taken only if needed to control post-operative pain. Over the counter medication such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Advil) can be taken for mild to moderate pain as directed on the packaging.


The day of the extraction, drink plenty of fluids and eat soft foods. Avoid alcoholic and hot beverages as well as hard, crunchy, or spicy foods. If you are having nausea or vomiting, call the office at (978) 664-3141.


Remember that you have just had a surgical procedure and need to take care of yourself. Avoid athletic or strenuous activity. Rest quietly at home, keeping your head elevated on pillows or sitting in an easy chair. At night you may want to have a towel over your pillow as your saliva will have traces of blood. By the next day, most patients resume their normal activities with moderation.

Calling the office:

If you have any problems or questions, or are experiencing anything unexpected during your recovery period, please call the office or the doctors at home, (978) 664-3141.